Archives for coptotermes

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites are termites whose mode of nesting is within soil. Termites have several modes of nesting, and soil nesting is the most common mode of nesting for many species. The other modes of nesting are arboreal nesting, mound nesting, and wood nesting. Soil nesting has many advantages for termites, and some species (typically from the Rhinotermitidae family) can be very adaptable in cohabiting with humans in human modified environments, like in urban and semi urban areas. This adaptability also puts them in conflict with humans.
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The signs of termites

One of the most common questions people usually ask is what are the signs of termites? Understandably, early termite detection is vital if you want to prevent large scale damage to your home, of which a large colony is capable of accomplishing – in a few months. But if the colony is small, or if they are first starting out, it may be very difficult to detect their presence without the use of expensive acoustic or infrared equipment to probe the soil beneath the house.
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Termite control using termite bait stations

Termite control is quite easy to carry out, depending on the system you use, and how early you detect the termites. The most effective termite control methods involve detecting termites early on, and then baiting them to eat poison laced feed. Its principles are simple, but highly effective in preventing termites from getting into a building in the first place.
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Termite pictures – Reticulitermes species

The following photos were sent by a reader, Angela, from Nashville, Tennessee. While poking around in the garden, the reader came across some white colored insects and wondered if they might be termites. She dropped me an email to ask my opinion. With her kind permission, I’d like to share some of the photos here.
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Termite damage photos

In continuing from our recent post on termite damage here are more photos so you can see how termite damage looks like. These termite damages are all Coptotermes gestroi inflicted, and the damage extended to dozens of houses in one area of about 5 hectares (or more than 12 acres). Since all the houses were close by or interlinked, the termites (which probably comprised a few colonies altogether), ran rampant and caused a lot of damage. The damage was so severe that many of the houses could not be salvaged, with a huge drop in their market value.
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Termite damage

Termite damage is normally caused by destructive termite species. These destructive species are mainly of the drywood and subterranean termites. Coptotermes species probably ranks the highest amongst those termites capable of the most damage. In general, species from the families Kalotermitinae (drywood termites), and Rhinotermitinae (subterranean termites), are responsible for perhaps 80-90% of all termite damage worldwide, with Rhinotermitinae accounting for almost all the cases.
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Termite pictures – Coptotermes curvignathus

Coptotermes curvignathus (Holmgren) from the genus Coptotermes is a destructive termite species of tree plantations in South East Asia and attacks live trees. It is similar to other Coptotermes species like Coptotermes travians and Coptotermes gestroi with the main differences in its being larger, and having strong incurved mandibles, and also a distinctive habit of attacking trees by encasing the surface of the tree trunk with a layer of soil.
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Termite pictures – Coptotermes gestroi

Coptotermes gestroi or the Asian Subterranean Termite is one of the most destructive termites in Asia (along with the Formosan Subterranean Termite), responsible for much of the termite damage statistics reported. Small and hardy, Coptotermes gestroi has been reported in new countries outside of its native range, including Australia and parts of USA, indicating an ability to adapt to new environments easily.
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Coptotermes – The top subterranean termite pests

The Coptotermes genus have perhaps the most infamous termite species in the world. While there are many species in this genus, most of the differences between species are small, and can only be detected after careful examination with a microscope. Nonetheless, the Coptotermes termites can generally be distinguished from other termite species due to their appearance: Whitish colored workers, and soldiers with ovoid, orange heads, sharp mandibles, and pale body.
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